How to Never Stagnate


Imagine a murky puddle on the road. The water is brown and stagnant. It does not look inviting.

Now picture a moving stream of water. Observe its quality of being alive. The water — it flows in harmony with its terrain, changing speed or direction only when it needs to.

Now observe yourself and the elements of your life: your relationships, career, exercise, recreation, eating, community, etc. Where are the areas of stagnation, where the flow is stopped, weak or unnatural?

I’ll go first: I lack financial flow, and I’ve struggled with it for decades. Here’s my stagnant pattern:

  • I feel “poor” when I don’t have enough money to pay all my bills
  • When there’s money in my bank account, I have fear that I’ll lose it all
  • Instead of letting the money flow out naturally (just as it flowed in), I cling to it and freak out about spending it
  • The money is gone and I’m back to feeling poor

The money doesn’t just vanish by magic. I use it to pay bills and take my wife out every now and then. The stagnation isn’t the money itself — it’s the way I perceive it. Instead of having faith in its infinite abundance (flow), I have fear of its scarcity (stagnation). I’m working on this.

Our areas of stagnation are always personal, and sometimes a situation feels totally out of our control. The one thing we can do is adjust our perception of the situation so that its natural energy — both positive and negative — can flow and not stagnate.

Water doesn’t just stop flowing because there’s a rock in the way. It allows the rock to be there and finds a way around it. If the water flows around the rock long enough, it smoothes it down, eventually wearing it down into sand.

You and I are made mostly of water, which makes it our literal essence. Observe your life and think about water.

Flowing water never stagnates.

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